New Layout! Giant Robots! Big(ger) Photos!

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Hot off the heels of my excitement for this summer anime season’s lineup is a brand new show featuring mecha, a ragtag team of civilian high school students showing their tactical superiority in dire situations that military personnel just can’t measure up to, and a brand new site layout for a blog that was begging to be redone since maybe two years ago. Why the change, you ask? Well, for starters, dynamic layouts (sites that change layouts depending on the device or browser window size viewed on) were just starting to gain functionality and popularity when I started this blog. Secondly, I’ve been wanting to get back into writing again, specifically about the summer 2014 anime season, and what better way to kick-start new content than to refresh the interface?

There are a handful of items that need to be scrubbed and re-arranged, like streamlining what’s in the the sidebar (which is still on the left side), choosing proper background photos for each page, and updating the size of photos in blog posts that link to my flickr profile. Truth be told, this interface is actually geared toward restaurants (hey, maybe I can post a price sheet PDF for my photography services!), but the WordPress demo impressed me with the ability to create static child/parent pages with unique, featured photo backgrounds that, once again, scale to the size of a browser window or mobile device screen resolution. The more customized child/parent page functionality is important for my content as this will allow me to partition my entire WordPress profile into a landing page that leads visitors to either my anime blog or my photography portfolio, which was the original intent of this site to begin with.

So, there is no doubt that this is a work-in-progress, but I think I’m going to have a lot of fun revamping everything. Like the high school characters in the promo poster for Aldnoah.Zero above, I can’t wait to get my hands and knees dirty to bring this site back to having consistent content! To the newcomers and even those that still visit my site, thanks for stopping by, sticking around, and checking out my posts! More photos, anime reviews, and random shenanigans to come!

Putting the Media in Pacific Media Expo: An Unofficial Vocaloid Concert

Bunny ears and an eager crowd awaiting the unofficial Vocaloid concert by Synthesized Reality Productions. Pacific Media Expo 2013. [j]

40 days of fundraising and almost $4,000 USD later, we have a Vocaloid concert! And no, this isn’t Crypton Future Media, SEGA, 5bp, MARZA ANIMATION PLANET INC., or any other entity or production studio typically associated with Vocaloid concerts that put this show together. With enough continued momentum, Synthesized Reality Productions could very well be the go-to production studio for local Vocaloid concerts until it gains traction with the likes of larger conventions such as Anime Expo. Anyone who is a Vocaloid fan who knew about and/or was fortunate to attend the 2011 Mikunopolis event in Los Angeles would probably agree that seeing more of Miku, Luka, Rin and Len onstage here in the United States is something we really need to see more often, especially for the efforts put forth at this year’s Pacific Media Expo. Read on for my quick impression of the show and some photos of the concert.

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White Album 2 Episode 2: Idol Next Door

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Megane! I suppose it was only natural that Haruki would eventually ask Setsuna to join the club, but I didn’t think the episode would carry out the way it did. In some respects, I felt it spent too much time developing a single character. In other cases, it almost felt like there wasn’t enough time, which worries me a little if this is only meant to span a single season. Still, this week’s plot manages to carry on with enough moments to satiate romantic drama fans’ thirst for good character development. I mean, just look at those glasses on Setsuna; how is that not adorable at all?! Come to think of it, why does she even look that way?

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Nagi no Asu Kara, Episode 1: Love At First Catch

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Well, you don’t see this happen quite often. Imagine setting up a cosplay shoot for this exact frame; I better start making some friends who love to fish, own a boat, and find a model willing to be trapped in a net for a few minutes just for this seemingly awkward shot. Awkward, that is, until you understand that this isn’t an ordinary girl being hoisted out of the sea via fish net by a well-dressed fisherman in a fashionable middle school button-up short sleeve in the middle of summer. Read on after the break for a bit of a history lesson behind this world’s underwater life and how this moment in the story is probably the de facto scene for which the struggles of our main characters will be based around.

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Thoughts

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“There is so much I want to do. I’m brimming with thoughts of things I want to create… I chase after every image that flies out. I catch them, battle them, and consume them after sampling each flavor. I name and return them to where they ought to be [over and over]. It requires so much time.

I want to open all these boxes, but a mortal life span is too short to do such a thing. A single lifetime limits how many boxes you can open.”

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Tokyo Ravens, Episode 1: Promises, Promises

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Boys, never break a promise you made to your cute female childhood friend, especially when she shows up in a fashionable sundress, bag, and hat to indirectly tell you how lonely she is to be warding off spirits and wants you to join in on the fight, even if you can’t see them at all. Oh, and make sure to not tell her she’s not cute at all; otherwise, you’re going to have a bad time.

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White Album 2, Episode 1: Heart Strings

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Despite dropping White Album only after the first few episodes back in 2009 and being further unimpressed that there was a sequel in the works, I was rather amazed at how the series sprung back to life. Mind you, I have no experience with the visual novels, so source material will serve no basis of comparison here. So far, it appears that you do not have to watch the first White Album to understand where this show is going and is actually set a few years since the first season ended. The premise? Very simple at its core. Read on after the break to find out whether this is a slice-of-life romantic drama you think is worth your time to check out this Fall.

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Infinite Stratos 2, Episode 1: Silver and Gold

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I watch it for the plot. Also, I recall mentioning two years ago that I voted for a second season, so I’m happy to have made it this far to write about what might arguably be one of the most anticipated Fall anime titles. That is, if you are a fan of these harem/mecha-type shows.

That being said, I found the ones to stand out so far this season are Charlotte and Laura. It was hilarious for them to be referred to as ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ in the department store. Most of this episode comprised of their relationship as current roommates and reminds us of their level of affection for Ichika. Even the side story of the maid cafe they were so quickly convinced to work for (seriously, who is she and will she serve any level of influence beyond her random appearance?) served as an entertaining introduction to some fancy footwork and theft deterrence without the use of any form or level of IS gear usage. It’s also nice to be able to focus on anyone but the main character in a harem for a change, even if 75% of the episode feels like a filler. A very quick recap of season one and a lead-in to the current season after the break.

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Photo Coverage: AX Live x Desu-Nation’s St Patty’s Cosplay Event (3.16.2013)

AX Live + Desu Nation - The Crowd

Large groups of people inside anime/manga stores, a couple of colorful sets of clothes and hair, cameras, and music can only mean one thing: mini-convention! I had the opportunity to meet a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and even some of my photos hosted by someone who works in the industry! Find out who it was after the break, as well as details behind my experience at AX Live/Desu-Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Event.

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New for 2013: Figure Photography [Teaser]

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For 2013, I thought it would be nice to re-photograph all of my figures from different perspectives (and hardware) that I hadn’t tried before and never had ready access to. The above shot of this rather famous figure (some of you may be able to figure out who it is right away) is an example of just that, as well as being a preview to something different and fun coming soon. I plan to tie in more background elements with this figure to make the shots more unique and, say, relevant to the subject’s contextual theme. Needless to say, I think the initial teaser results came out great! It certainly helps that she has partially transparent hair.

Having been away for some time with some (positive) career changes and physical relocation, I am now ready to pick up my momentum again with a new season of shows to follow, figure photo projects to commence, and comments to get back to. Stick around for some more posts and feedback this coming week!